YC set for test in quar­ters

Tonight’s op­po­nent, run-heavy Saf­ford, ‘def­i­nitely a lot bet­ter’ than a 10 seed

Yuma Sun - - SUN SPORTS - BY GRADY GAR­RETT @GRADYGARRETT

When the 3A state play­off bracket came out, Yuma Catholic coach Rhett Stall­worth noted that the Sham­rocks’ draw “could be worse, could be bet­ter.”

A big rea­son it wasn’t per­fect — the po­ten­tial of a quar­ter­fi­nal matchup with Saf­ford, a run-heavy team that’s prob­a­bly much bet­ter than its No. 10 seed would in­di­cate.

That po­ten­tial matchup is now a re­al­ity, as the Bull­dogs (7-4 over­all) will visit Ricky Gwynn Sta­dium tonight to face the No. 2 Sham­rocks (9-2) for a right to a spot in next week­end’s 3A state semi­fi­nals.

YC, which has won five straight all by at least 29 points, is com­ing off a 49-20 first-round vic­tory over No. 15 Show Low. Saf­ford has won seven of its last eight, and last week blew out No. 7 Odyssey In­sti­tute 34-0 in the first round.

“They’ve played a lot of re­ally good teams tough and close,” Stall­worth said. “They had a cou­ple of prob­lems fin­ish­ing those teams early on. They’re def­i­nitely

7 p.m. to­day, Ricky Gwynn Stad.

a lot bet­ter than a 10 seed.”

Saf­ford’s losses have come by 15 points to 3A No. 3 Snowflake (Aug. 17), one point to 3A No. 8 Wick­en­burg (Aug. 31), eight points to 2A No. 1 Thatcher (Sept. 7) and three points to 3A No. 6 Sabino (Oct. 26).

Saf­ford has to­taled 3,080 yards on the ground in 11 games this sea­son, with four play­ers at 500 yards of rush­ing or more. Sopho­more run­ning back CJ Scrivner (132 car., 1,149 yards, 14 TD) and ju­nior quar­ter­back Jer­ick Ar­bizo (88 car., 753 yards, 9 TD) have done the most dam­age.

Ar­bizo was sel­dom used in the Bull­dogs’ first three games of the sea­son, which per­haps helps ex­plain why all three were losses.

“The bot­tom line is they’ve got­ten bet­ter be­cause they’ve fig­ured out what they’re bet­ter at,” Stall­worth said, al­lud­ing to run­ning the foot­ball with a com­bi­na­tion of Scrivner and Ar­bizo.

Ar­bizo doesn’t throw of­ten, as he’s com­pleted just 13 of 31 passes this sea­son for 272 yards and three touch­downs to four in­ter­cep­tions.

Stall­worth said the Bull­dogs run a lot of one-back looks, and op­er­ate out of un­bal­anced for­ma­tions, but do have a good power-run game out of two-back for­ma­tions.

“We’re go­ing to have

Buy this photo at Yu­maSun.com PHOTO BY RANDY HOEFT/YUMA SUN

YUMA CATHOLIC’S J.R. HEN­DER­SON (12), Zach Hunter (6) and Isaac Tor­res (8) line up dur­ing last Fri­day night’s 3A state play­offs first-round game against No. 15 Show Low at Ricky Gwynn Sta­dium. The No. 2 Sham­rocks host No. 10 Saf­ford in the quar­ter­fi­nals tonight.

(10) Saf­ford at (2) YC

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